The Heat in The Trend Point: April 22 to April 26

Enterprise search does not always get the attention it deserves but recently we have seen a crop of articles on this vital technology in The Trend Point.

An efficient and agile user experience is an incredibly sought after characteristic in enterprise search today. The article cited in “Usability of Enterprise Search Valued” shares the following opinion:

There are too many IT consoles, too many vendors — one for network management, one for help desk, one for application performance,” said Raj Sabhlok, president of ManageEngine’s parent company Zoho. Pity the poor admins who have to piece all that information together to figure out what’s going on, or worse, what went wrong. The search function promises these woebegone admins a “Google-like interface” that lets them search on a device name, for example, and get back every instance in which that name crops up.

This has in fact more to do with the search function than with a search interface: Enterprise Search is good at pulling together all relevant information on a given topic, providing the notorious 360° view. In the long run, systems administrators will not want to have a “Google-like” interface to see the 360° view of the problem domain they are working on. They will probably want a mix of dashboards, facets and lists ordered by relevance. Such interfaces will be part of Search Based Applications on top of a Unified Information Access platform (aka as Enterprise Search platform).

A strategic disconnect between IT and business leaders can often drive IT professionals to have to build the case for innovative enterprise search software. In, “Podcast Offers Tips on Building Business Case for Enterprise Search” the following recommendations were given:

*The first steps to take to show business leaders the real value that enterprise search has to offer and convince them it’s time to implement a search program;

*Key questions that project managers and business stakeholders within an organization should ask of themselves when developing a formal enterprise search technology business strategy;

*The change management aspect of putting an enterprise search program in place;

*Liewehr’s take on how to build an enterprise search team and who should be in charge of shepherding the project;

*How enterprise search technology can be used to support; and

*Best practices on how to develop an enterprise search technology review process to ensure adoption and implementation success.

Enterprise organizations of all shapes have a need for enterprise search and while none of the articles referenced here pointed to the innovative aspects of current search technologies that does not mean there are no companies enjoying an advantage because of them. The fact that there are still many mentions purely in regards to enterprise search shows that the core technology is absolutely essential. Of course, semantic capabilities and the spread across structured and unstructured data that Unified Information Access offers are the type of search technologies that will be brining home stronger ROI and the implication of business stakeholders.

Jane Smith, May 1, 2013

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Beyond Search

+1Share on LinkedInShare on Twitter

The Heat in The Trend Point: April 15 to April 19

In The Trend Point, we have seen visualization and end user output presentation become a topic of prevalence recently.

Some sources report that visualization tools are still in the early phases of evolution. According to the article referenced in “From Raw Data to Informed Visualization“:

I would say that it is all very contingent. As we know, there are good visuals and there are bad visuals, and we’ve all seen a lot of bad visuals in PowerPoint, for example. Edward Tufte has made a pretty good living demonstrating there are really bad approaches to visuals that often occur in PowerPoints. I think we are probably a lot farther along in the world of narrative — we’ve been doing that for thousands of years — than we are in visual displays of information. I think we are really just finding our way now.

One article, “Data and Graphics Matched Through Search and Visualization,” suggested that not all data needs to be visualized, Jim Stikeleather of the Havard Business Review shares that in the end, the concept of translating the minutia of data points into something that is both interpretable and relevant is most important:

Ultimately, data visualization is about communicating an idea that will drive action. Understanding the criteria for information to provide valuable insights and the reasoning behind constructing data visualizations will help you do that with efficiency and impact.

Another article posits that visualization is the natural best method to present data. The source pointed to in “Visualization Must Be Included in Search and Analytics” tells us:

 One of the best ways to get your message across is to use a visualization to quickly draw attention to the key messages, and by presenting data visually it’s also possible to uncover surprising patterns and observations that wouldn’t be apparent from looking at stats alone … By visualizing information, we turn it into a landscape that you can explore with your eyes, a sort of information map. And when you’re lost in information, an information map is kind of useful.

Is data visualization not the same as simply developing and idea and sharing it in an accessible way? A new name for the basics of creating and presenting information is fine. However, as far as Sinequa‘s technology goes, it provides a much easier and more intuitive user experience for delivering real time and agile information and insights to users. It does not deliver the one picture that will hit you between the eyes and make you act near-automatically (why would we need a human to provide that reaction?). The interaction paradigm is that of “ping-pong between human and search engine. There is no need to involve complex business intelligence codes. Innovative enterprise search is the core that facilitates this kind of representation through a graphical interface.

Jane Smith, April 24, 2012

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext.

+1Share on LinkedInShare on Twitter